Indian Country Today: March 24 is the date for #EqualPayDay awareness

March 24. 2021

ERA’s Shannon Williams, Director of the Equal Pay Today campaign, was featured in Indian Country Today speaking about Equal Pay Day, specifically the wage gap experience for Native American and Indigenous women.

“For Indigenous and Native American women, the wage gap is much worse,” she said. “Native Women’s Equal Pay Day doesn’t come until September 8 this year, because the average Native woman working full-time earns only 60 cents for every dollar paid to the average non-Hispanic white man. This means that a Native Woman must work 21 months to make what a white non-Hispanic man made in just 12.”

“Over the course of a 40-year career, that adds up to a total loss of $1,035,360 in wages stolen from the average Native woman due to discrimination. That money is not just stolen from her, but also from her family and her community. It’s money that could be passed on as generational wealth, so the discriminatory harm is even longer lasting. Native moms are up against racism, sexism, settler colonialism, and the maternal wage gap, so they make an average of just 47 cents for every dollar paid to white dads,” wrote Williams.

“For Native women, this pay discrimination and occupational segregation is a reflection of the other systemic colonial barriers that they face: barriers to economic opportunity, the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, lack of healthcare access, and more, and in the time of this global pandemic, these barriers create a problem that is life and death,” Williams said.

“Women’s and Native women’s work is not valued as it should be,” Williams said. “Pay discrimination and occupational segregation result in wealth gaps for communities as a whole. In times like this especially, that wealth gap can be deadly, and puts many families at greater risk.”

Read the article here.

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